Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to walk with a limp, to drag a limb, to walk lamely; to move with a gait somewhere between walking and crawling.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To halt; walk as if lame.

Etymologies

A word of unknown origin, first recorded in Scots sources from the late fifteenth century; but probably from Old Norse herpast ("to suffer from cramp") the middle voice verb. Compare the Icelandic herpa ("to contract, to draw together"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Even most of the natives have stone-bruised feet and "hirple" along as if finishing a six-day walk in "the Garden."

    A Fantasy of Mediterranean Travel

  • The man clambering after her (he did "hirple" with the right foot, Kirsteen observed with pleasure) suddenly slipped down with an oath, for he too had seen the newcomer, and presently she heard his footsteps on the road hurrying away.

    Kirsteen: The Story of a Scotch Family Seventy Years Ago

  • He was a lantern-jawed, sallow-faced, high-browed fellow in his prime, with the merest hint of a hirple or halt in his walk, very shabby in his dress, wearing no sporran, but with a dagger bobbing about at his groin.

    John Splendid The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn

  • Philip, to her surprise, offered to come with her, and she was too glad to see him exert himself, to regret the musings she had hoped for; so out they went, after opening the window to give Charles what he called an airing, and he said, that in addition he should 'hirple about a little to explore the ground-floor of the house.'

    The Heir of Redclyffe

  • Gang hame, gang hame, like gude lads --- the French will be ower to harry us ane o 'thae days, and ye'll hae feighting eneugh, and maybe auld Edie will hirple out himsell if he can get a feal-dyke to lay his gun ower, and may live to tell you whilk o' ye does the best where there's a good cause afore ye. ''

    The Antiquary

  • They'll gie me quarters at Monkbarns readily eneugh, and I'll e'en hirple awa there wi 'the wean, for it will knock its hams out, puir thing, if there's no somebody to guide the pony.

    The Antiquary

  • Monkbarns readily eneugh, and I'll e'en hirple awa there wi 'the wean, for it will knock its hams out, puir thing, if there's no somebody to guide the pony.

    The Antiquary — Volume 01

  • She admitted, that when she heard the poor petitioner turn from the door, her heart was softened, and she did intend to open with the purpose of offering her at least a shelter; but that before she could "hirple to the door, and get the bar taken down," the unfortunate supplicant was not to be seen; which strengthened the old woman's opinion, that the whole was a delusion of Satan.

    St. Ronan's Well

  • She admitted, that when she heard the poor petitioner turn from the door, her heart was softened, and she did intend to open with the purpose of offering her at least a shelter; but that before she could “hirple to the door, and get the bar taken down,” the unfortunate supplicant was not to be seen; which strengthened the old woman’s opinion, that the whole was

    Saint Ronan's Well

  • "I hear thy pony can scarce hirple on three legs," answered my lord, clapping me on my shoulder, "but I like a lad of spirit, and go thou shalt.

    Tales From Scottish Ballads

Comments

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  • "As briskly as his bird-like legs allowed, the Reverend Unwin hirpled back to his study."
    --The Winner of Sorrow by Brian Lynch, p 84

    July 12, 2009

  • To walk lamely.

    May 12, 2008